5 thing you didn’t know about Andy Griffith

20 Jun

In a career that last for more than five decades Andy Griffith has been an actor, comedian, singer, writer and producer. Most people know him though for the Andy Griffith show, where he played the easyP-going country sheriff of the fictional town of Mayberry, and Matlock, where he played criminal defense lawyer Ben Matlock. He played both of those characters for years in long successful television series, television movies and as a guest role on other shows.

Outside of those two icon roles there is much more that most people don’t know about Andy Griffith. The following are 5 of those facts:

Majored in music

Andy Griffith went to the University of North Carolina where his first choice of a major was divinity so he could become a Moravain preacher. After a couple of years he decided to change his major to music. Shortly after choosing his new major he joined the Carolina playmakers and had roles in several operettas including “The Mikado” and “H. M. S. Pinafore”. He also became the president of the school’s chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He graduated in 1949 with a bachelor degree in Music.

Music Teacher

After college Andy Griffith became a high school music teacher. It was a position that he would hold for the next three years. Then the show business urge became too much for him and he left his teaching job to make records.

Guillen-Barre

In 1983 Andy Griffith had to put his career on hold when he was stricken with Guillen-Barre Syndrome. The disease left him paralyzed for three months before he was able to make a full recovery. It was another couple of years until he made his comeback to television in his series Matlock. His struggle with Guillen-Barre lasted for the rest of his life.

Politics

Andy Griffith had often thrown his weight to support local Democrates throughout his career. In the 1980’s the Democratic Party even approached him about running against North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms (Republican). Mr. Griffith turned them down stating, I’m an actor. That’s all I’ve ever known and all I’ve ever done.” 

Lawsuit

In 2008 Andy Griffith filled a lawsuit against William Harold Fenrick after Mr. Fenrick changed his name to Andy Griffith in an unsuccessful run to become sheriff in a southwestern Wisconsin country. A judge ruled against Mr. Griffith in the suit saying that his grounds for suing Mr. Fenrick were baseless even though Mr. Fenrick was trying to make himself out to be an Andy Taylor type persona. He would even go as far as dish out the same type of homespun wisdom that Mr. Griffith did as sheriff Andy Taylor.

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